Thursday, August 22, 2013

Product Review: 2013 Panini Pinnacle Baseball Hobby Box

Last Wednesday Panini released a new but old baseball card line in Pinnacle. Yes the once lost brand that Score held back in the 90's is now under Panini and is back with fury.
When this was first announced we were all over it. Loving the previous brand in the 90's, you just knew that Panini would give it some new life and bring the best to another baseball line.
Each Hobby box will have 24 packs with 8 cards per pack, with each pack containing at least 1 insert along with 1 Rookie. You will find 2 Autographs per box as well, increasing the value of this low-mid tier product.

In regards to the base set, it is 150 cards deep with an additional 50 cards of 2013 Rookies. Parallels are also found for the base set which are the previously famous Museum Collection (1:8) and Artist's Proof (1:12) designs. Inserts play a major role in this brand with a total of 16 different themes to collect. Slugfest, Team Pinnacle, Behind the Numbers, Awaiting the Call, Swing for the Fences, Team 2020, Position Powers, Aces and Clear Vision are among some of the prevalent ones to pull. Some of the inserts date back to Score Select (Aces) and previous Pinnacle themed inserts (Team 2020).
An interesting insert in this product are Pete Rose The Hit King Die-cuts. These mark the different milestones within 5 cards of his 4192 hits. Will be interesting to see the secondary values on these cards as they are not found in every box from what we've heard so far.
One of the great looking and cool technology inserts found are Clear Vision. These span across Pitchers and Hitter to reflecting accomplishments at the plate and on the mound. Pitchers have Complete Game, Shutout, Win, No-Hitter and Perfect Game. While Hitters have (as you might have guessed it) Single, Double, Triple, Home Run and Cycle. They've done a good job adding in new content with the older inserts every already enjoyed.

Autographs are very deep with 74 current and past players along with 26 rookies from the 2013 season. these seem to all be sticker autographs and both have the same design to them. With pulling 2 per box it is just more added value that Panini is bringing to the collectors.

Hobby Boxes will be around the $75 range and with the amount of value you receive, boxes could climb up next week or so. Like most products in this range they typically don't raise up too much but could fluctuate with the demand of the Autographs or some of the harder to find parallels and inserts.

Once we picked up our boxes we couldn't wait to rip into them, here is what we pulled:

Base Cards: 160 (0 doubles)
Base Card Museum Collection: 3 - Troy Tulowitzki, Jason Kipnis, Jackie Bradley Jr.
Base Card Artist Proof: 1 - Starling Marte
Slugfest: 2 - Curtis Granderson, Edwin Encarnacion
Team Pinnacle: 2 - Thomas/Pujols, Cabrera/Brett
Swing for the Fences: 3 - Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez, Jose Bautista
Behind the Numbers: 1 - Mike Stanton
The Naturals: 1 - Joey Votto
Team 2020: 3 - Yu Darvish, Stephen Strasburg, Bylan Bundy
Awaiting the Call: 4 - Tim Raines, Edgar Martinez, Greg Maddux, Ivan Rodriguez
Pinnacle of Success: 3 - R.A. Dickey, Buster Posey, Albert Pujols
Position Powers: 2 - David Wright, Buster Posey
Clear Vision Single:3 - Aramis Ramirez, Ian Kinsler, B.J. Upton
Clear Vision Double: 1 - Paul Molitor
Pete Rose The Hit King: 1- HK2 Die-Cut
Aces: 1 - Gio Gonzalez
Autographs: 2 - Shelby Miller, Sean Marshall

Yet another reason why Panini should have a piece of the MLB license, products like this are great and fun to rip open. The Base cards are typical old-school Pinnacle with plain black designs and nothing too flashy. I don't have a problem with it and they look great and almost stealth-like. The Museum and Artist Proof parallel's are great and offer a little more to the set.
Inserts, Inserts and more Inserts! Man this is a loaded insert product. We pulled 27 inserts from this box, which is more than the expected 23. A lot of these use the Museum look to them which standout and a couple use the clear acetate technology.
Clear Vision are a great insert. They have a little bit more stock into them and use the acetate technology as well as a prizm look. Pretty cool cards and if not for so many in the Single set would go after one. We pulled a nice Molitor Double which the higher you go the harder it is to pull one out of the box.
When the Pete Rose Hit King card was pulled we didn't think anything of it but then realized that not all of them were Die-Cut and this was a parallel. Very nice cuts around the numbers and adds much more to the already popular cards with collectors.
For our autographs we were very happy with the Miller RC auto. Sean Marshall isn't bad either but was expecting that type of player to come out of the box. Most times you will get two of the same tier player auto out of a $75 box, so pulling the Miller was very good. Both are sticker autographs but we'll take anyone in a box for this value.
Overall this is a great buy, either as a single box you bust or through a Box Break. Lots of cards, every team is represented, and a 50 card rookie base to pull some nice ones out of. Inserts again are the key in this product and might overshadow the fact you also pull 2 autographs out of the box. We came away with 40 cards short of a complete set from 1 box so we might bust open anther one to see about completing it. And why not, we can build up our insert sets with the other box and have fun ripping into another one.

Most cards/hits pulled in our breaks end up on our site storefront, or our COMC account ThePackGambler. If you are interested in any of the cards we have mentioned please send us an e-mail at

Gambler Overall Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Cost: 5/5
Autographs: 4/5
Parallels: 5/5
Inserts: 5/5
Concept: 5/5
Fun Aspect: 5/5


  1. HI
    Its been very interesting to see you post..great review about the pinnacle..Thank you so much for sharing this informative news with us..

    1. Thank you for your comments, much appreciated and glad you have been enjoying the reviews.